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Pre-Visit Information

Location and Hours 
The National Gallery of Art, located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW, is open daily, Monday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. See also area map, public transportation, parking.

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is located on the National Mall between 7th Street and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW.

The 6th Street entrance to the West Building on Constitution Avenue and the 4th Street entrance to the East Building have ramps to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs. Please inform the tour scheduler and docents of any special needs before your tour.

Metered street parking for cars and vans is available along the Mall. Buses may let students off at the entrance noted on your confirmation sheet. Parking for buses is usually allowed only on Independence Avenue near the Washington Monument.

Public Transportation 
The nearest Metrorail stops are Judiciary Square on the Red Line, Archives–Navy Memorial–Penn Quarter on the Yellow/Green Lines, and Smithsonian on the Blue/Orange Lines. Metrobus stops are located on 4th Street and 7th Street NW.

Further information about Metrobus and Metrorail routes and schedules is available at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The WMATA Trip Planner provides a fast and easy way to plan your visit to the Gallery.

Visitors will be asked to present all bags and parcels for inspection. All backpacks, luggage, oversized bags, parcels, and umbrellas must be left in the checkrooms. These items will be subject to x-ray screening prior to acceptance. We regret that we are unable to admit any items larger than 17 x 26 inches (43 x 66 cm) into the Gallery or its checkrooms. Checkrooms, located at the entrances to both the East Building and the West Building, are provided free of charge. We recommend that students leave their backpacks at school or on the bus to prevent entry delays.

During Your Visit
Students require adequate supervision. Groups must have one adult chaperone for every 10 students. Chaperones are responsible for monitoring and accompanying students at all times.

Please share the rules with your students and chaperones both before and during your visit.

  • Do not touch works of art. Please maintain a distance of at least 12 inches away from any work of art.
  • Do not lean on the walls, display cases, or pedestals—even to draw or take notes.
  • Do not block doorways, aisles, or stairways.
  • Self-guided groups are expected to yield to tours given by docents or staff; only one group may be in a gallery at a time.

Cameras and Backpacks
Handheld cameras, pencils, and pads are allowed in the permanent collection areas but not in special exhibitions. Students may not wear backpacks in the galleries. Backpacks must be checked at a checkroom. We recommend that students leave all backpacks at school or on the bus to prevent entry delays. Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering the Gallery.

The use of tripods, easels, and ink or chalk drawing materials is prohibited without special advance permission.

Lunch Options
Group dining options are available for large parties. Please contact us via email for details. Group menus and reservation guidelines can be viewed here

Bag lunches may be stored in the checkrooms but may not be eaten in the Gallery cafés.

Museum Shops
Reproductions, exhibition catalogues, and books on the collections are available to educators at a 20 percent discount by mail order only. For more information, call (202) 842-6002 or (800) 697-9350.

Calendar of Events
To subscribe to the Calendar of Events, call (202) 842-6662 or use the subscription form to add your name to the mailing list. 

Copyright Notice
This video is for your classroom use only. Except for providing a link to this web page to another teacher for classroom use at your school, neither the video nor any portion of it may be distributed in any way (including by linking to this web page or circulating its URL or address) without the prior written approval of the National Gallery of Art (the Gallery). Neither this video nor any portion of it may be altered or copied in any way without the Gallery's prior written approval.

Our pre-visit video and PowerPoint can help orient and introduce your students to the National Gallery of Art.

Look! Video player

Watch | Copyright Notice
Recommended for grades 2 through 6

Top Ten Things To Know Before You Go

PowerPoint (4MB) | PDF (4.7MB)
Recommended for grades 4 through 12

Chaperone information cards outlining Gallery visitor policies will be distributed on the day of your tour or may be printed in advance.